Football isn’t the only sport that is causing concussions in players: There has been a rise in head injuries for college basketball players.
In a detailed story, the Associated Press suggests that college hoops has gotten more physical and fast-paced with more massive players, and this is leading to more concussions. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basketball/ncaa/wires/03/05/2060.ap.bkc.concussions.on.rise.adv07.1263/
The issue has become so serious that the National Collegiate Athletic Association will hold a summit on concussions this spring.
Head and face injuries in all NCAA divisions have risen 6.2 percent from 1984 to 2004, a study by the National Athletic Trainers Association found, with concussions making up 3.6 percent of all injuries reported. Strangely enough, female hoops players were three times more likely to sustain a concussion than male players.
Several marquee players – such as Michigan State’s Delvon Roe and UCLA’s Malcolm Lee – have been forced to sit out games and practices after they exhibited the symptoms of concussions. And the Air Force basketball team has suffered at least six concussions this season.
College players are no longer “pipe-cleaner thin,” according to AP, and “the game has adapted to the size and strength of its players, becoming more about power than finesse.”
Let’s see if the college basketball moves faster to address the concussion problem than other pro and collegiate sports.
The obvious counter to the thesis of this research is not that concussions have gotten more frequent, but that the diagnosis of concussions has changed. It is unlikely that concussion itself is increasing. The game has changed very much. But now, trainers, coaches and fans understand the symptoms, and players injuries are given more attention. That is a good thing.